A review from The Independent of Martin Jacques’ new book,When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order, about the implications of China’s rise:
This ringing rejection of Western universalism is where he begins. As he puts it, “There is still a widespread view in the West that China will eventually conform, by a process of natural and inevitable development, to the Western paradigm. This is wishful thinking.” By concentrating on similarities, rather than recognising difference, the Western world “excludes everything… that makes China what it is”.
Increasingly, he posits, China will exemplify an alternative model for development, and one likely to spell the end of the West’s dominance in every sphere: economic, political and cultural. China’s differences concern the nature of the state (a “civilisation state”, not a “nation-state”), its regional relationships (a “tribute system”), and a particular attitude towards race and ethnicity. China’s scale, its long and consistent polity, and the fact that, even when its GDP outstrips the world, it will still be a developing country, are other elements that make China, in Jacques’s view, different.